Our renovation dream needs a reality check

(EurActiv, 31 Aug 2021) I’ve been involved with the renovation of buildings for more than a decade. I’ve campaigned for policies to put renovation at the top of public agendas and I’ve worked on hundreds of retrofit sites across Europe.

Barry Lynham is Managing Director at Knauf Energy Solutions.

I know how renovation improves living conditions, I’ve experienced how it creates jobs and I’ve seen for myself how renovation saves energy and cuts CO2 emissions.

So, the past year has felt genuinely significant. The European Commission’s commitment to renovate 35 million European buildings as part of a ‘Renovation Wave’ was a major landmark, while the long-list of summer proposals to reduce Europe’s carbon footprint by 55% by 2030 felt historic.

Proposals such as including buildings in the EU ETS, committing to renovate 3% of all public buildings annually and introducing minimum energy performance standards in the upcoming Energy Performance of Buildings Directive should be a renovation dream come true.

Sadly, when it comes to renovation, reality has a nasty habit of getting in the way.

Rather than measuring whether or not a renovation has delivered the performance promised — in terms of energy or CO2 savings — the success of a renovation project still depends on measuring the result with an Energy Performance Certificate. Unfortunately, EPCs vary wildly from country to country and are based on estimated assessments by subjective individuals rather than objective data.

External link

EurActiv, 31 Aug 2021: Our renovation dream needs a reality check